Abu Dhabi – The Proteas' T20 World Cup campaign is fast building momentum after their six-wicket thrashing of Bangladesh here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.
Temba Bavuma's team have now won three consecutive matches to give themselves a real chance of progressing to the semi-finals. They face an unbeaten England side in their last Pool 1 match on Saturday in Dubai to determine their progression to the knockout stages.
But before the possible permutations are checked, it is worthwhile to dwell on a near-perfect performance, in particular the bowling unit, from the Proteas on Tuesday.
Kagiso Rabada has struggled with his rhythm thus far in the tournament, but clearly filled with confidence after his batting heroics in the last game, the Proteas talisman charged in and tore off the head of the Bangladeshi batting line-up.
The Tigers, who were already missing star all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan due to injury, simply had no answer for the fearsome Rabada.
Mohammad Naim was the first to depart when he top-edged an attempted pull shot to mid-on before Rabada rifled in a toe-crunching yorker first ball to Soumya Sarkar. Although the umpire initially offered Sarkar a reprieve, there was no hiding from the technology after South Africa successfully reviewed the decision.
Although he was denied the hat-trick, Rabada (3/20) was not finished just yet though as he found the outside edge of Mushfiqur Rahim's bat. Excellent captaincy from Bavuma also helped in the dismissal with skipper setting an unfamiliar field in T20 cricket with the placement of a gully.
Having already been eliminated from this T20 World Cup, Bangladesh had no fight left within them after Rabada's opening burst.
Almost like a shark smelling blood in the water, Rabada's partner-in-crime Anrich Nortje (3/8) feasted on the middle and lower order along with Tabraiz Shamsi (2/21) as Bangladesh were all out for just 84. Mehedi Hasan tried his valiant best with a determined 27 off 25 balls, but he unfortunately had no support.
There were a few nervous moments during the chase when Reeza Hendricks (4), Quinton de Kock (16) and Aiden Markram (0) fell during the Powerplay to reduce South Africa to 33/3.
However, an assured 47-run partnership between skipper Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen ensured there would be no more surprises.
Although Van der Dussen fell shortly before the close, Bavuma comfortably took the Proteas over the line with 6.3 overs remaining.
Bangladesh: 84 all out (Nortje 3/8, Rabada 3/20, Shamsi (2/21)
South Africa: 86/4 (Bavuma 31*, Van der Dussen 22, Taksin 2/18)
South Africa won by 6 wickets